They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

While the history of the traditional owners of Australia, the Aboriginal people, spans up to 60,000 years, that of colonial Australia is still relatively young. The history of British settlement in Australia really begins in 1788 and is founded on many different aspects.

From a penal colony to colonies of free settlers, it took a while to find something that would unite Australia as a nation. The founding principles of this nation were scattered and sparse across the vast land of the country.

However, in 1915, during a time when a state of World War was declared, the idea of Australia as a nation was consolidated. It was on April 25 1915, when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps sailed ashore at Gallipoli, Turkey, to defend the British Empire. In doing so, they also banded together to defend the values, principles, and morals of emerging life in Australia. In a time of development for this new nation, a common goal was presented to unite forces and create bonds that would last a lifetime.

Each year on April 25, the nation of Australia stops to celebrate and acknowledge the sacrifices our men and women made in 1915. This day is highly important for Australians. It is particularly significant in the history of colonial Australia and was a time where all Australians: men, women, and Indigenous people, came together to fight for this country.

Even 100 years later, this day stands out in the calendars of many Australians for numerous reasons. It a solid reminder of the values which Australians remain proud of: mateship, courage, and dignity in the face of unfortunate circumstances. Amidst the wartime terror of the day, countless stories about people helping each other while injured and battled, even helping the ‘enemy’, came to light. It was a time where Australians showed they cared, above all, for human life, no matter what ‘side’ they were on.

More importantly, this is a day where everyone in history is remembered. While it is easy to glorify just the men on the battlefront, ANZAC Day is a time where we also acknowledge the women and the role they played.

As the men marched up the steep slopes of Gallipoli, many female nurses waited behind at the ready in the confines of the ships, with surgical skills and bravery ready to go. As wounded men were ferried off the coast, the women were prepared to confront their injuries. From battered bodies to bleeding wounds, these women saved many lives against intense odds.

Women played a major part in the Gallipoli battle in many more ways than nursing. Marie Louise Hamilton Mack was a novelist and journalist. She bravely reported on the front line during The First World War. There was Myra Juliet Farrell, who invented a barricade that could repel ammunition, which was used in many battle fronts during the war. And Katie Louisa Ardill who was among the first female doctors to serve during the wartime years.

On Sunday afternoon, our School Captain, Mackenzie Leyden and, Vice Captain, Georgie Sitch, represented the School at the annual ANZAC Commemorative Service for Nurses, at the Nurses Memorial Centre on St Kilda Road. The girls participated in a wreath laying ceremony on behalf of the School. This was followed on Monday morning with our annual ANZAC Assembly led by our Senior History students. The School welcomed Flight Lieutenant Blake Crothers, an aeronautical engineer serving in the Australian Air Force, to provide the keynote address:

“ANZAC Day continues to be honoured in Australia to recognise the many men and women who lost their lives in defence of their country and values. This eternal sacrifice made a huge difference for the future of Australia as a nation. Moreover, this is a day where we celebrate the lives of returned servicemen and women, acknowledging the fight they fought and the mates they lost along the way.”

The lives of those involved in the battle at Gallipoli are a source of inspiration against harsh odds. They displayed values of determination, courage, and outstanding loyalty. Today, they deserve to be remembered as much as they did at the time of their acts.

We will remember them.

St Catherine’s is crowned Snowsports School of the year

I’m thrilled to announce that last night, at the Australian Ski and Snowboard Awards, St Catherine’s was awarded the 2017 School Club of the Year Award. This is an outstanding achievement for St Catherine’s. It recognises the strength of the St Catherine’s School program and the contribution it has made towards the ongoing development of school Snowsports within Australia. This achievement not only highlights the large participation and exceptional performances of our students on the slopes, but also highlights the outstanding support and enthusiasm given by our wider St Catherine’s Snowsports community, including its staff, Auxiliary and parents.

Congratulations to the girls, parents and staff who have participated in the Snowpsports program. This award is a reflection of many years of Snowsports community involvement and participation.

St Catherine’s in the Media

In case you missed it, please find linked here an article featured in The Age by Alex Borlenghi, Head of Digital Learning and Practice. The article titled Equipping girls for reality in the 21st Century focuses on how Augmented and Virtual Reality is being adapted in the classroom here at St Catherine’s School.

Only last year, our School’s work in AR and VR was recognised by Educator magazine, with Mr Alex Borlenghi and Mr Adrian Puckering being included on its list of the most influential educators in Australia.

This article further cements our position as a leading School in this area and highlights how we continue to present subjects in new and interesting ways.

Mental Health Organisations Response to Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why

I would also like to draw parents’ attention to an important article written by Merran O’Connor, Director of Student Wellbeing regarding the recent concerns and warnings raised about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

Click here for parental advice and information on the series.

Mrs Michelle Carroll, Principal